Get ready for the kids returning from Plant Camp by cleaning up your inside plants. Anybody on the windowsills needs to be vigorously inspected, repotted, and sprayed with insecticidal soap if necessary. Then the windowsill needs to be scrubbed to rid them of hidden mealybugs and aphids. And wash the windows while you're at it, as returning plants will respond happily to more light coming in.

Stay ahead of the weeds. This time of year, all the weeds are desperately trying to reproduce, many of them with millions and millions of seeds. Every one of those seeds has the potential to grow up to be a weed, and that's exactly what you don't need in your garden right now. Or ever. Since the recent rains, it's very easy to pull them out, so do just that, making sure you put them in a bag and send them far away from your garden. Putting them in the compost bin will wreak havoc in your garden next spring when you spread out all those beautifully fertilized baby weeds.

Save the good seeds. Just as with your weeds, your perennial and annual flowers are putting out a lot of seeds, too. But because we like these, we want to encourage their proliferation. I like to split my gathered seeds. This means I take half of them to clean and put away for next year. I take the other half and sprinkle them where I'd like blooms to come up next year. This gives you a 50-50 chance that you'll have these flowers again next year, especially if you're like me and the half that you saved went carefully into your pocket and then just as carefully went through the laundry.

Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (phsonline.org) and a co-owner of Cobblestone Krautery (www.cobblestonekrautery.com).